ASLSK Replay – Clearing Colleville Turn 5

Turn 5

Things are not looking too good for the Americans, with only victory building M4 in their possession and the Germans still holding L3, K4 and J3. An all-out assault is now required to try and dislodge the Germans, or at least keep them in Close Combat to satisfy the Victory Conditions.

Captain Dunn finally gets a grip and rallies himself and his squads. It is decided to try strong prep Fire from O5 on K4 to try and suppress the Germans there, making it safer to cross the road and enter L3 in force. The 20 FP attack causes one of the target squads to break but leaves the other one intact.

The Americans now close in from H3 and K6. One squad places smoke in K5 but even so gets broken by a 16 FP attack from J3 and K4, but the half- squad plus its MMG manage to reach L4. One squad in N6 moves into M6 and M5, taking Defensive Fire there from L3 but survives and moves into M4. They are followed by a half-squad that gets eliminated in L4 by a quick burst of HMG fire from none other than Col. Lorenz in K2! The final squad plus MMG from N6 makes it to M4 unscathed, as does Cpt. Dunn.

Final Fire from K4 and L3 then manage to break one US squad in L4 and Pin the other, meaning that there is no chance now for any US troops to enter K4 and Close Combat before time runs out! The Germans will have to be broken by fire. Final Fire from J3 into I4 breaks one half-squad but the other one is OK.

Advance Fire into K4 from L4 and M4 is ineffective. In the Rout Phase one broken US half-squad low crawls away from M4 to M5, and a German squad low crawls from K4 to K3.

In the Advance Phase, the Fire Group in O5 moves into the building of N5 for better cover – a move that turns out to be a mistake! 16 FP of American troops then advance from M4 into L3 and enter into Close Combat with the single German 4 FP squad. There are no ambushes and the Germans are eliminated with a DR of 4, modified to 2 because of the US leader. However, in one of those incredible ASL moments the Germans manage to roll a ‘2’ and massacre all of the attacking Americans in turn, including the hapless Cpt. Dunn!

Close Combat in J3 between 2 German squads plus a leader and an American half-squad is unresolved and leaves them in Melee.

End of American Turn 5

It is now the final German Turn of the game, and the situation is such that there is just one unbroken German squad left in Victory Building K4, but that hex lies under heavy defensive fire from the strong American stack in N5. If they break during the Defensive Fire Phase they lose the game…unless…

… the Germans can bring a broken squad back into action and sneak it into one of the victory buildings, say L3?

In the Rally Phase, Col. Lorenz does manage to rally one squad in K2 despite his +1 modifier. The squad in K4 decides to skulk out of its hex to avoid a possible strong Defensive Fire attack from N5. It Assault Moves into K3 after failing to place smoke. The Americans in L4 fires into K3 and manages to roll a MC result, which the squad passes by rolling a 7… which causes a Pin result, meaning that it won’t be able to Advance back into the Victory Building!

However, not all is lost. The rallied squad in K2 moves into L2 which is not now in any American LOS because the O5 FG had moved into N5. In the Advance Phase this squad moves into Victory Building L3 and the Germans win the game!

End of Game after German Turn 5 Advance Phase (note that the squad in L3 erroneously took the HMG from K2 which was actually in Col. Lorenz’s possession. This has no impact on the outcome).

After Action Report

Losses were heavy on both sides and the Germans managed to enter their final turn with just one squad in one victory building hanging in by the skin of their teeth. A skulking move almost ended in disaster when they were pinned and unable to advance back in – however, the otherwise rather suspect Col. Lorenz managed to rally another squad in the nick of time, and they occupied one of the buildings unopposed to secure victory.

The German defense worked largely as planned, with the Americans sufficiently delayed to be forced into a series of dangerous attacks in Turn 5. The Northeastern group though is isolated and had to be sacrificed, a defense further back, say in K6 and I6, might possibly be more effective.

From the American point of view this is a tough scenario. There is very little time and there has to be a willingness to take heavy losses in a relentless assault. The overall tactic of combining a few strong fire groups to soften up the defenders whilst a swarm of half squads move in for the kill appears effective. The attack was not helped by the 9-2 leader being out of action for an entire turn, and losing an entire close combat stack against just one German squad was a heavy blow that may well have cost them the game.

In the end though the result was extremely close, and really depended on just a few critical die rolls.

A different setup could perhaps see an American fire group in P1 to make life difficult for the Germans by laying fire lanes down in the South of the village, and denying Rout paths. There are undoubtedly various ways to clear Colleville!

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